- 19th September - San Francisco Ballet
- 11th October - Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
- 16th October - Rambert Dance Company
Other than reinforcing my view that I prefer the middle of the Stalls to the First Circle - you kind of feel more engaged with and enveloped by the gesamtkunstwerk aspect of contemporary dance in the Stalls, my main observations are:
All three dance companies have the most amazing and gifted dancers. The obvious virtues of the lead dancers aside, Hannah Rudd (a recent recruit to the Rambert) and Sasha de Sola (in the Corps de Ballet of the San Francisco Ballet, just promoted to soloist in 2012) both have that hard to describe "you know it when you see it" quality of grace and ease which will probably have them become leading dancers in due course.
This was Cedar Lake's first visit to the UK. Although it apparently started as a vanity project for the Walmart heiress, it's turned into a very fine dance company. I will definitely book tickets for their next trip here.
But the overall impression I was left with was that the two American companies had the great luck each to show only pieces of new choreography (the standouts being Christopher Wheeldon's "Within the Golden Hour" for the West Coasters; and Hofesh Shechter's "Violet Kidd" for the East Coast company) and these really allowed the dancers to flourish.
The Rambert by contrast seems to have had a much more hit and miss record recently with new choreography, and the best piece of their evening was the revival of Merce Cunningham's 1975 "Sounddance".
It would be lovely at some point to see the Rambert programme 3 or 4 brand new pieces in one evening. Their dancers deserve the opportunity.